SA police seize R1,4 m worth of smuggled cigarettes

Africa Top Stories

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

Police in Limpopo, South Africa have intercepted cigarettes worth R1,4 million which are suspected to have been smuggled from Zimbabwe.

The owners of the contraband took to flight on Friday night upon spotting security officials on patrol near Musina town.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlefela Mojapelo told ZTN further investigations were underway.

“The Police, South African Defence Forces and Traffic officers received information about suspects transporting illicit cigarettes and immediately followed it up,” he said.

“A roadblock was set up and the vehicles were observed coming from Tshipise towards the direction of N1 road.

“The four vehicles; a Mazda sedan, Nissan paddle van, Toyota Quatum and a Chrysler SUV were then stopped at different intervals.

“The Nissan pick up truck reportedly failed to stop. It sped off and turned into the nearby gravel road. A car chase ensued until the driver lost control and knocked against a fence. The suspects then got out and ran into the nearby bushes”.

Brig Mojapelo said the Toyota Quntum also failed to stop and both the driver and passenger jumped from the moving vehicle and escaped.

“The suspects abandoned the vehicle and also fled into the nearby bushes.

“The last vehicle, Chrysler was also abandoned by the suspects,”said the official.

He said a search of the vehicles led to the discovery of cigarettes worth a combined R1 454 428.00.

Brig Mojapelo said the fourth vehicle (Chrysler), did not have the cigarettes though they  suspected it to have been  stolen.

He said they were still investigating the origin and destination of the recovered properties.

 “Anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects involved in this matter, may contact Colonel Mamuhoyi on 002782 414 6683 or the crime stop number 0027860010111 or the nearest Police station,” said Brig Mojapelo.